EDITORIAL: A CLASH OF PRIORITIES - VACCINE, ELECTIONS, ECONOMY
Across the world governments and the citizens for whom they have a duty of care are placing their hopes and bets on the roll-out of vaccines to return their countries to something resembling normality following the ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic last year.
But hopeful platitudes pale into insignificance compared to the challenges which lie ahead.
A plan of action is needed even beyond the monumental coordination required for national voluntary vaccination programmes. And while 'voluntary' is the watchword, indications are that the world, especially the travel market, could be moving towards a 'COVID-passport' reality.
Amidst the veritable flood of Christmas and New Year messages of goodwill, hopes for a better 2021, and complimenting ourselves on how well we did in 2020, one can't help but notice the scene being set for the 2021 election campaign.
Cayman as a society can indeed look back on how comparatively well we have done to date in the fight against the pandemic to keep it at bay the best we could.
But we should be careful not to expend so much energy looking back when our focus should be on looking ahead to the future.
With an election pending and the clock already ticking, the question is; does Cayman have the time to wait for political manifesto pledges?
The vaccine expected here this month is not a panacea for all the challenges that lie ahead of us for 2021, but it could be a catalyst for many opportunities to kickstart the economy and return to some semblance of normality.
One opportunity might be for us to start looking at Cayman in a different light; not just as a Caribbean regional entity but as a global trendsetter.
A clear, revised and cohesive recovery plan is crucial not just for our economy but broadly for our society.
We have heard rather cautious projections on returning to some semblance of tourism in about three months time depending on the success of the roll-out of the COVID-19 vaccine.
That timeline is however shrouded in uncertainty as it does not address a number of variables and constants required to navigate out of the current continuing crisis.
There have been several ideas put forward and many calls for an updated reopening plan.
Some have made their way into previous iterations of government planning last year during the peak of the pandemic.
But much has changed since then, including the availability of vaccines - plus a new more contagious strain of the virus.
Should we as a society have to wait for ‘strategically-time’ manifesto pledges?
The COVID-19 pandemic we are told does not respect borders. Well, nor does it respect political timelines.
We commend those in the business sector who have taken the lead in not just demanding an updated cohesive plan, but have put their own plans in place.
That speaks of confidence in Cayman’s economy.
It’s that ‘Confidence in Cayman’ that we at Caymanian Times ascribe to that has led us to take the bold step to increase our circulation to three days a week as we work towards returning to our daily paper output.
We see this as a reflection of our responsibility to keep Cayman informed, present a variety of opinions, but more importantly, our ‘Confidence in Cayman’.
At the same time, we empathise with those companies which are cast in a state of limbo, those which have had to scale back their operations or being forced out of business because of the circumstances and uncertainty.
As a society, if we wait and delay, we stagnate and we can already see the rut setting.
Let’s not spend too much time, looking back. Ahead is where the future is.
Together, let’s make it a Happy New Year Cayman.